AMATEUR BASEBALL: Isanti built momentum for the upcoming amateur baseball playoff stretch by downing Forest Lake 7-5 at home July 20, handing the Brewers their first loss on the Metro Minny schedule.
Centerfielder B.J. Samuelson made a great diving catch with two on to keep the Brewers from scoring in the second. Dan Hamann and Brent Tholen then singled and scored to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third on RBI groundouts from Packy Lind and Matt Duong.
Jake Maros ripped two solo home runs, and Kyle Johnson added a solo homer for the Redbirds in the later innings. Joe Ramberg earned the win with seven strong innings where he scattered six hits. Wade Reichmann and Dallas Nelson each pitched an inning in relief for Isanti.
On July 19, the Redbirds received doubles from Johnson, Maros and Hamann in a 3-2, 11-inning win over host Hamel. Adam West threw the first eight innings, striking out seven, with Tyler Schaff getting the win with two Ks over the final three stanzas.
Isanti also picked up a 6-2 win over host East Bethel on July 18 when Alex Bauermeister got the win with seven strong innings and Schaff earned the save. Duong and Johnson both had two of the team’s seven hits in the victory.
Next Isanti games: July 25 vs. Champlin (7:30 p.m.); July 26 vs. Elk River (7:30 p.m.); July 28 at Blaine (5 p.m.); July 30 at Champlin (7:30 p.m.).
EML playoffs this weekend
Rum River will enter this weekend’s Eastern Minny League playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the West Division brackets. The Bandits will open against No. 3 Nowthen at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, with all EML playoff games held at Brennan Field in Hinckley. A win would have Rum River playing at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and a loss would have them back in Hinckley at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning.
In the EML East brackets, No. 4 seed Braham will take on top-seed Mora at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 26 in Hinckley. The Snappers will play at 7:30 p.m. Sunday night with a win or 1:30 p.m. Sunday with a loss. Loser bracket games continue at home July 29 or 30. Two teams will advance to Region 1C out of each EML division.
Mora defeated Rum River 4-1 on July 21. The Blue Devils also defeated Braham 13-2 on July 20 as they finished the regular season undefeated in EML games.
Amateur Baseball standings
Metro Minny League: Forest Lake 12-1, 17-5; Blaine 12-2, 25-4; Champlin 10-2, 20-7; Isanti 9-6, 17-10; St. Francis 7-5, 17-8; Coon Rapids 8-7, 18-10; Anoka 7-7, 16-7; East Bethel 4-10, 7-13; Hamel 3-12, 3-14; Big Lake 3-13, 4-14; Ramsey 2-11, 5-15.
Eastern Minny League: East Division: Mora 17-0, 21-3; Hinckley 11-6, 12-9; Quamba 7-10, 7-12; Braham 3-14, 3-16. West Division: Sartell 10-7, 12-10; Rum River 9-8, 12-8; Nowthen 8-8, 9-10; Chisago Lakes 3-14, 3-14.